I've been working on a project over the last year. At first everything was running great, now that my Final Cut Pro Library file has reached 300GB to 330GB in size doing anything in FCPX has become extremely slow. My project is under 2 hours and original media is only around 130GB but my library file is now at 400GB. I'm at the point where I need to make 22 individualized revisions of the main project, though every time I copy the project the library continues to grow. FCPX has gotten so slow it's not usable. Any movement in the timeline causes the spinning beach ball. Changing a letter of text causes the spinning beach ball. Attempting to play the video causes the spinning beach ball. While FCPX is spinning away, I'm able to use my computer and any other applications fine. Activity monitor shows lots of CPU & memory available, disk and network have minimal usage. Only FCPX has the slowness problem though I'm not sure exactly what it's doing. Prior to the 300GB library file size, FCPX was working great. I have an iMac with the i7 processor, 32GB of RAM, SSD for the OS & FCPX app, RAID0 SSDs direct attached for the library file with original media on a RAID network attached storage.
Does anyone have experience working on a year long project, then having to make two dozen re-edited individualized copies? Why is FCPX so slow? Should I be managing my media differently? Is this size of a project a limitation for FCPX? I've not been able to locate any clear and concise FCPX 2016 documents outlining how to manage a large project.
I suggest you create a new library. Copy only the latest version of the project you are working on (you can leave the media where it is if external). This will create a new library that will be much more smaller and much easier for your GPU, CPU and RAM to deal with.
I haven't worked on a library of quite that magnitude.....but I would say that I have worked on something that was over an hour, and I had to make 8-10 revision projects. 150gb+ library.
A few observations I have made:
-The more text that is in a project.....the more bogged down it seems to get
-I delete all render files until final delivery. So I'll render while I'm working, but then once the edit is done I'll delete all render files and re-render when its time to deliver. this keeps the library size manageable. The only reason your library grows when you keep duplicating projects and altering them.....is if you render them all.
-i would argue that leaving files external vs. inside the library shouldn't affect performance.....its more about the render files. Either way, FCPX has to access and play back the files, and store a certain amount of media in RAM to make things go. In fact.....if your media is on another drive, the speed of that drive might be the exact reason that things are bogging down as more media and render files are added to the pile.
-When I start getting a beach ball (and I'm working on a mac pro), I occasionally restart the computer and that seems to improve performance.
-once every 6 months or so I drag FCPX to the trash and re-install from the app store. doesn't affect preferences or projects, or anything.....but it seems to keep things running like a top. I was getting a lot of crashes when editing text and after re-installing....never happened again.
-are you storing your libraries on the same drive as your system? i.e.: where your FCPX application is stored? if so.....you shouldn't. I got a thunderbolt dock and edit everything off of an SSD.
Reinstalling FCPX won't typically affect any plugins particularly plugins found in the Motion Templates folder as they remain intact. Some third party plugins that are installed differently might need to be reinstalled to properly register with FCPX but once that's done any projects that use them should be fine. That said, I have never seen the reinstallation of FCPX solve anything. I have never reinstalled the app since the first version release in 2011 and have simply updated over it each time. The suggestions given for corrupt fonts, deleting render files and trashing preferences are good ones. To those I would add looking for a possible outdated or corrupt plugin, checking to see that background rendering is turned off in FCPX preferences, ensuring all media drives have at least 15 % to 20 % of free space on them, and running disk utility (and even repairing disk permissions if it hasn't been done in a while thru terminal). Finally, if none of that helps, creating a new user admin account on the system to see if FCPX regains responsiveness. Also, rendering files before export is not necessary unless you wish to smoothly view the project. FCPX will automatically render any unrendered content during the export.
Really hoping someone can help with a new iteration of the problem...
Imac Pro 2019
OSX Monterey 12.6.1
As with all libraries I am using external SSD's.
I’ve had to update a library for a project largely completed under FCPX 10.4x
Subsequent to the library “successfully” updating I had to upgrade its feature event
(an 80 min event) from 720p to 1080p. Again, this all has been ostensibly “successful”.
The updated event in its updated library under 10.6.5 runs incredibly slowly.
With every single mouse click, pretty much, I get the beach ball of death
for 10-60 seconds before I can do anything else.
I’ve deleted all render files.
I’ve trashed prefs.
I don’t have any corrupt fonts.
Every library / event *created under 10.6.5* works just fine.
It’s only this updated stuff which is terribly problematic,
so the problem is very much isolated to this single event / library.
Is there anyone who has had *this* specific problem?
...I’ve had to update a library for a project largely completed under FCPX 10.4x...Subsequent to the library “successfully” updating I had to upgrade its feature event
(an 80 min event) from 720p to 1080p. Again, this all has been ostensibly “successful”...The updated event in its updated library under 10.6.5 runs incredibly slowly....With every single mouse click, pretty much, I get the beach ball of death...for 10-60 seconds before I can do anything else....Every library / event *created under 10.6.5* works just fine...It’s only this updated stuff which is terribly problematic,...so the problem is very much isolated to this single event / library....
Is it possible your library updated from FCP 10.4x contains references to old plugins which are not compatible with FCP 10.6.5 or Monterey? If your 10.4.x library was running on Mojave or earlier, that is possible.
Try making a duplicate of your project, select all clips with CMD+A, then delete all effects with Edit>Remove Effects. See if that version of the timeline shows the same problems.
Are the libraries and events created under 10.6.5 (which seem to work) of similar size and complexity to the one causing problems?
You can also try opening the problem timeline, export a project XML, create a blank test library, then load that project XML into the new library. That eliminates upgrade-related issues and the timeline should be the same after importing the XML. Examine the behavior of that and tell us how it works.
It is not impossible there have been some FCP performance regressions in a few narrow areas. However that is complex and time consuming to pursue, so we want to try the above simpler steps first.
> select all clips with CMD+A, then delete all effects with Edit>Remove Effects. See if that version of the timeline shows the same problems.
Just doing this took 20 minutes of click > beach ball of death > click etc
and I had to restart FCPX - but managed to get it done at last.
Noting that I don’t use any third part plugins - just the native ones.
The event is a little more smooth to work with but ultimately useless because
I’ve lost all my zooms, pans, crops etc.
Other unusual behaviours:
For rotating images, the rotation field must only have numbers entered into it -
if I try using my mouse and a click to manually slide the percentage, the application freezes for minutes at a time. This problem persists in the duplicate event with effects removed but the freeze time is briefer.
Dragging clips into timeline often sees the clip bounce straight back into the browser, the clip introduction doesn’t ‘stick’ - have to drag it in a few times before it ‘sticks’.
The application randomly makes changes in what I am viewing in my browser.
ie occasionally, I’ll do something in my timeline but FCPX acts as if I clicked into my browser and changed the order of
view or which event or project I am clicked into. It’s very much a case of NO I did NOT tell you to do that! etc
Then of course beach ball of death for every click I need to make to bring the browser back to where it was.
Every time I do something in the browser such as a duplication or a deletion of an event, the browser resets its view to scroll to the bottom and enlarges clip view. Argh!
I haven't been able to try your project XML suggestion because now the event freezes FCPX every time I open it, for anywhere between 10 seconds to about 45 minutes.
Not sure how I'll get past this, but I'm determined....
Every library / event *created under 10.6.5* works just fine.
It’s only this updated stuff which is terribly problematic,
Well, that is a good start to troubleshooting this. Any least you know that Final Cut Pro can work fine on your Mac.
It is the frustrating nature of troubleshooting that all you can do is eliminate possibilities. But before going further:
1) Make at least one complete backup of the problematic Library and all its media just in case you mess things up more with troubleshooting steps.
2) I would also export a QuickTime movie file of your project in its current state just so you have a reference in case you need to rebuild the project from scratch by match cutting...
From what you are describing you are getting the problems no matter which project/timeline you have open in the particular Library?
And do you get slowdowns even with a brand new Project Timeline created in the Library, with just the media added and no effects?
In other words, if you make a new blank Project/Timeline and drag your media from the Event into this timeline you still get the slowdowns? Or does this new Timeline with just media but no effects or moves or edits play fine?
Do you have many Snapshot versions of your Project in the Library?
If you close the Library, restart Final Cut Pro and make a new Library using the same media do you still have problems?
I know you said you never use third party effects, but double-check by having a look in ~/Movies/Motion Templates. I once had problems with an updated Library and I found that I had downloaded a Motion effect to try out. Removing it from the folder sorted things out.
If possible try opening one of the backup copies you made of the Library in step 1, on another Mac. This is to eliminate fundamental problems with your Mac or Drive or Final Cut Pro. I know this might not be possible, which is why I suggested it last.
...The event is a little more smooth to work with but ultimately useless because I’ve lost all my zooms, pans, crops etc...
Understood; that was just a test to evaluate the relative contribution of Fx vs the timeline itself. The fact that much of the problem continues w/o any timeline effects implies a more fundamental problem.
Do you have at least 20% free space on all drives?
First, make a safety copy of your library by duplicating it in Finder (assuming it is not too large for that). Also make a safety copy on separate media of all FCP auto-backups which by default are in /Movies/Final Cut Backups.
One goal is exporting a library XML or project XML. If you can't do that because it hangs, delete render cache (again), reboot the machine and try again. If that doesn't work, examine the dates of the FCP auto backups of this library and open one that is a day old, two days old, etc. until you find one that opens. Close your normal library when doing this. When you find a backup library that opens, immediately export a project XML of the "problem" project, then export a library XML of the entire library. That provides another type of backup, plus we can study the file. Be careful and keep track of what library you have open.
Please run Etrecheck on your system: etrecheck.com/
This is a safe utility which is widely used on the Apple support forum. I have run it myself. Send me the report file at the below location.
In FCP hold down the OPT key and select Help>Gather App Diagnostics. That will take a few min to run and creates a .tar.gz file on your desktop.
In Finder double-click on that to unzip it, go into the /Projects folder. Those are not actually projects they are library backups. Delete all except the relevant ones we are working on. Otherwise they take too much space to upload.
Then re-zip that entire folder tree and upload to the same location above. That allows me to examine your system log, system config info and (hopefully) the library itself. I cannot see any of your video data -- I'll just see red "missing media" clips. However this still allows examination of the library and project layout.
Thanks @joema -
Uploading now. The diagnostics component is just over 1gb... it's huge.
Thanks again for the suggestions! Something I have observed - when the beachball happens after I try performing a basic task like shifting a clip or adding a transition, I find that if I go to a web browser and play a youtube video, maybe 75% of the time this seems to trigger FCPX to stop beach balling and start functioning again. I use Brave browser. I have also observed instances - again, only with this specific project - where CPU use is through the roof and FCPX is doing *something* where my HD is filling with *something* very quickly. Despite my having set FCPX inc this project to leave files in place etc and all backups and renders are set to be managed on my external SSD. I noticed that the project had developed the dreaded “black clip” glitch where clips play as black. The fix was to delete all render files. I have deleted all render files from the project and the library probable about 10 times.I believe the black clips / render glitches emerged as a result of having given up on beachball resolution and forced FCPX to quit so many times. > Do you have at least 20% free space on all drives? Yep.
Etrecheck - Further to: "Major Issues: Anything that appears on this list needs immediate attention. Automatic updates disabled - Automatic updates are disabled. This computer is at risk of malware infection. Security updates disabled - Security updates are disabled. This computer is at risk of malware infection. Heavy CPU usage - Some processes are using an unusually high amount of CPU. Apple security disabled - Apple security software is disabled. This computer is at risk of malware infection." Please note that these things have nothing to do with the problem because ALL other projects work just fine.I’ve learned the hard way to disable all of Apple’s endless updates because of losing functionality of critical applications.You’ll note the massive RAM use when I have the offending project open…
Fortunately I've been able to do the work I needed to - for now - on this project.
It was probably about 30 mins worth of editing, which ended up taking about 5 hours due to the beachball glitch. I've backed up the whole library + saved a 422HQ master file, so I feel safe enough - but I'll have to come back to this project down the track so I hope something can be done to make it less slow. At lease it's a project specific problem, and not present elsewhere!
I got the files. I could not load the XML file because of an error. I opened the library and could see the projects (obviously w/o media). The "All Noises 4.0 1080p" project would open, but it was very sluggish and hung a few times. It was a complex project but not excessively so. I will examine it more this coming week.
I saw references to Neat Video, Digital Anarchy Flicker Free, Beauty Box and Core Melt (not in that project, in the library). Nothing wrong with those, just make sure they are the latest versions, esp. Core Melt.
I just searched for "core melt" within FCPX effects in my workspace under "all" and nothing came up... I am a little worried now! I am sure I never installed such a plugin.
I'm tempted to go into my plugins folder and delete all of these third party things - which I never use. But on the off chance I had a lapse of reason and used one of them in the project we're talking about, is there a way to quickly determine if any of these plugins are being used in it?
PS Ok, so flicker free etc I am 100% certain were not used in this project, so it seems odd that references to them are coming up (I recall why I tried out FF, it was for a different job altogether).
I have checked my plugins folder and the plugins folder in my FCPX app package and can find no references to Beauty Box or its parent Digital Anarchy. It's not coming up in a system wide search, either. Same with Core Melt. Nada....
Sorry, that was my mistake. I was working on it late last night, your library crashed on my machine and those were plugins I had installed. I am normally looking at crash logs from other machines so in my fatigued state I got confused.
You previously stated only one project had problems, the others all worked. Is that still correct? I think I know, but please confirm which project that is.
Are any of the other projects which work OK of the same size and complexity as the problem project? Or is it uniquely large and complex?
When I export a project XML from the largest project and some of the other large ones, it will not load to a new library because of this error:
"The XML document could not be imported.
The media file cannot be imported because of insufficient data.
Inappropriate file type or format"
Depending on which project and the edit state, it will say /format, /format, etc.
I tried to track down which clip by selectively deleting parts of the timeline, exporting a project XML and trying to load it. Unfortunately, it's an elusive target, which implies it's not one clip but maybe a higher-level issue.
I tried the undocumented project repair command (OPT+Clip>Verify and Repair Project) on "All Noises - New Clips". I exported the project XML before and after the repair, then diffed the files using Beyond Compare, and it made some changes to a few start and duration values. It's possible there are other similar issues the command cannot fix.
The "XML document could not be imported" error implies some kind of metadata inconsistency in the SQL database for that project. When the XML is exported that is likely reflected in the XML, and during XML import there is some kind of validity check which fails, likely due to the metadata error within the library SQL database.
In a serious performance or stability problem, there is always the question of whether it's a bug in FCP code, an inefficiency in FCP code, an inherently slow situation that is slow in other NLEs, or whether the data is somehow damaged that is causing an abnormal performance situation.
I tried to import the "All Noises 4.0" project to Resolve Studio 18.1.4, but it threw a bunch of errors about "failed to link because the timecode extents do not match any clip in the media pool", also a bunch of errors about "Overlapping items found on track A3 with first item start=51, end=512 and second item start=243, end=308. The first item will be trimmed to resolve the overlap". Despite those errors, the project seems to load in Resolve. I don't have the media but the basic timeline structure looks present and manipulating it apparently works OK.
I then tried to export the project XML from Resolve. It hung in a beachball for a long time, but finally produced a project XML. Upon import of that to FCP it gave a bunch of errors such as:
"AllNoisesResolveExport.fcpxmlEncountered an unexpected value. (format="r1": /fcpxml/resources/media/sequence/@format)"
After the import of that XML to FCP, there was a timeline there but it looked totally different from the original FCP timeline. So I don't think that procedure will work to somehow cleanse the data.
Thanks once again!
There are a couple of duplicate projects of same complexity - one is a snapshot and is the original iteration.
They were 720p projects. I upgraded this to 1080p and named it "ALL NOISES 4 1080p" (or similar - I'm at work as I type this but anything similar to that name is it). That's the one.
There would be missing media from some of the other (smaller) projects - I didn't have a couple of my external drives connected at the time I did all of this checking etc. However the relevant drive for the 1080p project we're looking at was connected and it contains no missing media (I've checked the output master file...).
Another possible problem is the Brave browser which is based on Chrome. For a long time there have been issues with the Chrome (or Chrome-based) browsers on MacOS causing adverse interaction with FCP. This is apparently because Chrome-based browsers misuse the MacOS VideoToolbox framework that FCP needs to function.
I don't know if that problem still exists. Maybe some people with up-to-date knowledge could comment.
It's apparently not sufficient to just shut down the Chrome-based browser, according to some you must totally delete it using the below procedure. I don't know if that is still required.